Dark Chocolate, Merlot and Queen Bees

The Movies & Munchies film for March is Queen Bees.  Movies & Munchies is a virtual movie club with a culinary slant.  Each month one of our members  picks a film and we all watch it looking for some foodie inspiration.  We then post up a review of the movie and an inspired-by recipe.  

Wendy is hosting this month and you can see her post for some inspiration.

About the film:

Helen (Ellen Burstyn) is an independent senior determined to keep living in her beloved home (much to the chagrin of her daughter).  After she accidentally sets her house on fire, she must “temporarily” move into a nearby retirement community.  There, she comes up against Janet (Jane Curtin), the ringleader of a group of elderly mean girls. Janet’s crew includes characters played by Ann-Margaret and Loretta Devine.  Christopher Lloyd and James Caan play the love interests for these Queen Bees.

What I thought…

I have to say I have mixed feeling about this movie. I kept thinking that I had seen these actors do better; I had seen these actors do more. Seriously, we’re talking The Godfather to SNL. Then there’s Burstyn, the winner of Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Awards.

I guess I remember these artists’ greatness and this film just wasn’t that. It was heartwarming but a bit predictable.

It also may be important to add that I have been trying to get a parent to consider moving into a retirement community and I totally did NOT want to identify with Helen’s daughter!

Anywhoo, not my favorite BUT I don’t feel like I wasted an afternoon of viewing.

The Food:

There wasn’t a huge amount of food in the film but here’s what I spotted.

  • Thursday’s teas (Helen and her grandson)
  • Sautéing vegetables/olive oil (which caused the fire)
  • Cold cereal
  • Smores (Dessert of the Day)
  • Chocolate and merlot
  • Chinese food
  • Red Velvet cake with pink icing
  • Vodka in the fruit punch
  • Cheese balls with nuts

I very well could have done a cheese ball but instead I went with the chocolate and merlot.

Merlot and Dark Chocolate Brownies

Debra .

Red wine and chocolate—perfect for any girl party.   


  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. extra dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/2  c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. merlot
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare an 8 x 8″ pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. Place the butter and the chocolate chips in a large glass measuring cup or glass bowl.  Microwave for about 45-60 seconds, stirring after 30 seconds, until butter and chocolate is melted.
  3. Place brown sugar in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment.  Slowly pour melted chocolate mixture into brown sugar with the mixer running on medium speed. Add in eggs, one at a time, continuing to beat.  Beat for 30 seconds, until the color of the batter lightens just a bit.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and add in cocoa powder, flour, salt, vanilla extract, wine and  walnuts.  Mix until just combined (about 30 seconds).
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean
  6. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

Considering some of the other scenes with Helen and Sally, one could add a few other secret ingredients to these brownies.  🙂  I revamped this recipe just a bit from a previous post (basically just using extra dark chocolate and merlot this time).

These are ooey-gooey brownies, those kind best eaten warm over the kitchen sink.


While Queen Bees wasn’t my favorite movie, as always I appreciate the participation and membership in Movies & Munchies.  Please consider joining our merry band of movie watchers.  Search for us on FB and ask to join.  It’s that easy.

April’s feature is any of the My Big Fat Greek Wedding movies.  Your choice. Camilla is hosting.



1 comment to Dark Chocolate, Merlot and Queen Bees

  • mae

    When I saw chocolate and merlot, I assumed that you would drink the wine with the chocolate— a surprise combination that’s really nice. Putting it in the brownie batter is another new idea. Also nice. I should try it: I love gooey brownies.
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com